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Step 3: Recessing the Corners

-Each corner has a chipboard reinforced corner. You need to Recess these to the thickness of the first sheet of acrylic. I used a stanley knife but a chisel would probably have been much safer. Keep measuring as you go and check each corner by replacing the clear Acrylic sheet. If you chisel any of the corners to much then you can always build them up again with the cut away section of table top and some PVA. 
(Tip: Use the protective coating from the acrylic to help you remove it from the table top)

-When the corner reinforcements are complete paint the whole thing white with emulsion or gloss. It might not seem that important but it makes a HUGE difference. 
<p>Looks very cool, is it manageable for a lady to try? I have two black ikea lack table that look too plain.</p>
<p>:O) Can't download---</p>
<p>love the light box table :-) I inherited Mums very large light box but it's so big it takes up all the table space :-( but after seeing what you did with your table I thought I would go the other way and turn my light box into a table :-) and this way it will be easy to use and usable all the time without taking up space on my desk :-) </p><p>Thanks for the Instructable :-) once I have my workshop finished I will work on that project next :-)</p>
Is that surface good for dry erase by chance?
<p>Very nice job Mr Chutney. For those that don't want to use a boxcutter to cut the table a Dremel with their circular saw blade will make the job much easier :)</p>
<p>I forgot to add that I would most likely try to use JB Weld to forgo the use of screws in the corner with the recessed application. I am thinking the use of Plexiglass / Acrylic as the top sheet if you are using the table as an end table would result in scratches. Maybe a clear glass top and the frosted acrylic underneath might be better?? Just a thought :)</p>
<p>I made it but used two sheets of 4mm frosted perspex to disperse the light even more and hide the visibility of the led lights. Also I cut out the exact shape and made a frame to sit inside the table to hold the sheets, this and using counter sink screws allowed the table to remain completely flat, without any sheets protruding.</p><p>Also used remote control colour changing LED's, the infrared signal passes through the perspex no problem so all the wiring can remain inside the table.</p>
<p>I might be missing something really obvious but why are two sheets needed?<br><br>Why not one sheet just fully set into the table top?</p>
<p>Depending on the thickness of the sheet you might find it doesnt provide enough stability near the middle of the table!</p>
<p>Thank you so much...my new lightbox is exactly what I needed and looks good as well.My husband made it for me.</p>
<p>Hello :) Nice Instructable. I was wondering about the power adapter you're using. It's 12Vbut how many amps does it output? I mean, the 5 m LED strip needs 1,5 amps if I'm not mistaken, and a 12V adapter would output max 1 amp, no? Does it still work for you using the adapter on the pictures?</p>
I just spent the afternoon making one of these out of a white table. <br> <br>I think painting it white inside is a must. I used 2 tester pots from b and q as i didn't want to buy a brush or pot of paint. Each tester pot (50ml) did one coat. I gave it two coats. <br> <br>The hardest part was the drilling of the Perspex. I think I would go slightly bigger on the Perspex (maybe add 5/10mm all round to both sheets) as I found the fixings were very close to the edge of the clear Perspex, and so one corner broke off a little (makes no difference as it doesn't move on the plane as its sat in a recess so that fixing is only holding the clear one down). <br> <br>The only changes I made were... <br> <br>1. using washers under the fixings (I still used the dome screws like you as I liked the look of them) but I wanted to spread the load a little! <br> <br>2. I didn't like the hanging cable connector, so instead drilled a hole the size of the connector just off one of the leg supports, so that I could just poke it through a little and then glue the rest of the connector to the leg support so that it was solid. <br> <br>Got the LEDs and power cable from eBay. &pound;12. <br> <br>Paint pots from b and q. &pound;2.20. <br> <br>Perspex from Trent plastics. &pound;29. <br> <br>Table. Free. <br> <br>So &pound;45 total. Not bad for a light box that size! <br> <br>All in all, was a good instructable, Thanks! <br>
<p>Instead of painting the inside white I suggest using aluminum foil (shiny side up) next time. This will reflect the light even better and make the end result brighter.</p><p>But do note that aluminum foil is conductive, so make sure there is no short in the strip, for example by placing masking tape between the foil and the strip.</p>
Fantastic! <br>Congratulations on the build, would be fantastic to see a picture! I like the sound of your power cable modification. I would especially like to see what that looks like. I had considered at one point making the Perspex the same size as the whole top of the table and just glueing it down on top, I ended up deciding against this as I wasn't sure if the Perspex would be cut perfectly square. Id like to see someone do this with a white table as the light box would almost be entirely hidden. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!
<p>Curious if there is another option for the white on top? Plastic? May sound weird...but...using a sheet of tissue paper under the clear acrylic? hmmm..</p><p>Making this for my classroom...</p>
<p>Hmm that wouldn't make for a very neat uniform light since tissue paper (and every normal paper) has dark and light spots. Hold it to the sun, and you can see these spots.</p>
<p>NOTE: Counter sinking the screw holes will actually prevent the acrylic from cracking when you tighten down the fasteners. Although it has aesthetic benefits, it is the correct functional solution to prevent damaging the plastic and is generally recommended when fastening hard plastics like acrylic. Great tutorial.</p>
<p>We made it! And it can change colors :)</p><p>Thanks for sharing this!</p>
<p>What did you end up using for your lights? It looks great!</p>
Thanks, we used a LED strip, comes with a remote to change colors.<br><br>Not exactly this model, but you get the idea:<br><br>http://www.ebay.com/itm/ABI-300-LED-RGB-Color-Changing-Light-Strip-Kit-w-IR-Remote-5M-16FT-Waterproof-/361105966094
<p>This kit comes easy to install right...no extra needed to get the lights going? </p>
<p>Wow!<br>That looks absolutely brilliant, what a creative touch you've added. </p>
<p>This IKEA furniture hack is dope!</p>
<p>Started making my own table and only need led lights and wanted to check which is best to use 3528 or 5050.</p>
<p>Hi there Christopher,<br>I think I used 3528 I think... No doubt both would work. here's the link to the ones I used...<br><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5M-500CM-SMD-300-LED-STRIP-LIGHT-COOL-COLD-WHITE-DC-12V-/250874787743?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5M-500CM-SMD-300-LED-STR...</a><br></p>
<p>A friend told me about electroluminiscent panels. It looks like it would have been a good alternative to LEDs: it would be simpler (no cutting required), with a more homogeneous lighting, and probably cheaper.</p><p>What I don't know if EL panels are bright enough, and if they can change colors as well.</p><p>What do you think?</p>
<p>Hi Jameiniesta,<br>I've never heard of EL panels before. Just spent some time researching them and they look absolutely brilliant. They seem to be very cheap for small sizes however once you begin to reach about A3 size they cost about &pound;60-&pound;70. I'd love to see one in action. I would love to see how bright they are... I also couldn't determine whether or not they generate heat? <br>The technology behind them is fascinating. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. <br>Cheers!</p>
<p>finished mine and it's great for making my art. my cat seems to enjoy it, too.</p>
<p>AH HA! Fantastic Sarah! I am an enormous cat fan so this makes me very happy. The table looks brilliant! </p>
<p>Wow, and I was just about to throw out my old lack table... Not any more :D</p>
<p>This went right on my &quot;to-do-next-weekend-list&quot; ^^</p>
I just made this on my days off with the white coloured lack table. Very easy to do and is very funtional. Most plastic stores will sell translucent white acrylic for relatively cheap. I wired up a rocker on/off switch and installed it on the side of the table top. Thanks for thinking of this.
<p>Excellent to hear about your success Mdhold! I have a little flip switch just begging to be fitted into my table but as yet i haven't found the time. Hope your table is still going strong!</p>
<p>This exaclty what we were looking for at our preeschool!!!! We begin this project tomorrow, we will let you know how they came out, we need to do 4. Thanks so much, just one question, why do you need two acrylic sheets, the clear one and the opal? </p>
<p>Hello there Lucyvigax, <br>I hope that your building process is going well! I used 2 separate sheets of acrylic for a few reasons... I wanted to be able to hide the roughly cut aperture (made for the first sheet) by overlapping it with a larger second sheet. From what I recall it was also much cheaper for me to buy 5mm clear acrylic than buying both sheets in opal. The thickness of both sheets combined also makes the surface much stronger and less likely to flex. <br>Hopefully that answers your questions, let me know how you get on! </p>
This is just awesome. Already commented on another lack light hack that I have to make one for lightbox purposes. Then I found your instructable! I have to give this a try!
Beautiful. I'll add this to my "to-make" list. <br /> <br />
This is awesome. Definitely going to be the final fate of my current lack table. <br> <br>Could i ask you how much both sheets of plastic combined cost you in the end?
I got mine from the same place and paid ~&pound;29 delivered.
Here's some pictures. <br> <br>http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0099009/photos/61654338@N02/sets/72157632572246406/ <br> <br>Don't know how to post them on here (I'm on a phone). <br> <br>I didn't take any photos inside before doing it all up which is a shame, but the connector is glued around the hole on the inside and also to the leg support. <br> <br>I was going to have it flush, but there wasn't room between the Perspex and the bottom, so had to push it through a few mm. It made it stronger and tidier though. <br> <br>I like the fact that the opal is smaller than the top, that and the screws, makes a feature of it. A flat complete top would look too plain in my eyes...
The table looks fantastic! <br>I hope it serves you well. <br>
This looks wonderful for my preschool class! We love using our light box for various activities. Most light tables/boxes for schools are lined/painted with silver instead of white. Do you think that would make a difference in the reflection of the light...making it show through the top more instead of being absorbed by the white paint. Since it's such a shallow space I'm not sure it would matter?? Also, I was thinking of just getting a rope light or fluorescent lighting. What are your thoughts on that? I'm kind of &quot;building impaired.&quot; :) Thanks so much!
Hello the Trishas5! <br>I'm glad you like the project, I can certainly understand your students loving light boxes. They are surprisingly useful. You are absolutely right about silver being a better reflector, however silver objects reflect SO well that the reflection almost exactly mirrors the light source. Ideally the light in a light box is diffused and spreads evenly across the drawing surface, you don't really want to be moving the paper around the board to find the best light spots. Although the acrylic sheet helps the diffusion you would be surprised how much of a difference the white interior makes. <br>I considered using fluorescent lighting however it gets extremely hot and there simply isn't enough space inside to allow proper air circulation. The table is only 5cm deep and I think the plastic would melt pretty quickly. Rope lighting should do the trick though! Most rope lighting is LED based so you don't have to worry about the heat issue. Have a look on eBay for different options because LED lighting is INCREDIBLY cheap. I bought 5 meters for less than &pound;10. Hope that helps!
I love this! In the midst of building one but my area only offers acrylic sheets up to 3mm thick. Will stacking 2-3 layers clear for the bottom work?
Hello Shoerice! Glad to hear you're having a crack at it yourself! I had a similar issue when I decided to build mine. I went to a specialist acrylic dealer and asked them what they thought about stacking several sheets up (because it was cheaper than a single thick sheet) They thought it wouldn't work as well. they pointed out that any dust or dirt that got in between (which is hard to avoid because the sheets generate static)would show up really clearly. I also suggested glueing them together and they had similar reservations. HOWEVER I still think that it probably would have worked reasonably well. The table top might end up being slightly more flexible and I would probably use 3 clear acrylic sheets for the bottom and 1 opal acrylic sheet for the top. If flexibility did turn out to be a problem I think you could probably construct a small supporting piece from acrylic for underneath. Failing that you could try eBay for 8mm acrylic. Even with postage it was much cheaper than my local specialist. <br>Best of luck with the build! Be sure to post pictures when you're done. <br>Cheers
Can I just use white acrylic rather than the opal?
Good question, To be honest I don't know. You could buy a small sample and test it although I get the feeling that it'll be too opaque. The opal stuff is perfect because it's actually designed to let light through. You want it to be as bright as possible.
Any one have any good places to pick up some Acrylic sheets in the Colorado area. Or any good websites?!? <br> <br>Thanks